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After campaigning on a platform to crack down on illegal immigration, President Elect Trump is now facing a tall order. In enforcing his proposed policies, he will find himself at odds with many state and local governments, which have crafted their own policies in lieu of Congress’s failure to enact immigration reform. Although the issue could be largely resolved with Bob’s preferred laissez-faire approach – to “Let Them All In” – alas, this idea is not popular with everyone. In 1994, Governor Pete Wilson acted on anxieties in the state of California to promote and pass Proposition 187 – aka the “Save Our State Initiative – which would have prevented undocumented immigrants from accessing non-emergency state services, such as public education. Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute writes that this policy (in addition to being ruled unconstitutional several years later) had the unintended consequence of turning California “Blue” (i.e., majority Democrat). Prior to 1994, the hispanic vote split roughly 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans. Afterwards, California steadily swung to the left, as the GOP came to be known as the anti-immigrant party. Alex returns to the show to explain how Republicans went astray, and to offer a history lesson on political parties that ushered their downfall through misguided nativist platforms. They will also discuss why Trump's proposed policies would be a disaster for the Republic, if they can be implemented at all. Call (424) BOB-SHOW to speak with Bob and Alex at any time during the show.
Proposition 187 Turned California Blue | Cato @ Liberty, July 20, 2016 – By Alex Nowrasteh
Every student of American government learns that the separation of powers is a key component of the checks and balances upholding our democracy. The fact that the president often meets fierce opposition from the legislature is supposed to be a feature – not a bug – of the system. It could even be argued that partisan gridlock, and Washington's inability to "get things done," are positively good things. But with a mounting national debt and innumerable other crises, partisan rancor and division seem to be hindering real reform from happening. Bob fears we will never return to the optimistic America of his youth, and that America may be in decline. His guest this Sunday offers a hopeful solution, borrowing from our friends from across the pond – Akhilesh (Akhi) Pillalamarri argues that Britain's parliamentary system could resolve some of the America's governmental dysfunction. Akhilesh is a journalist, editor, international relations analyst, and historian who writes for The Diplomat and The National Interest magazines. He argues that our presidential system, like others throughout history, has a tendency towards autocracy. Counterintuitively, this is because the president can claim to be doing "the will of the people" in a way that a prime minister elected by parliament cannot. Bob also presents his unique proposal for representative democracy, and takes your calls on the future of the republic.
Trump versus Hillary. Four years ago, the prospect of such a face-off would have seemed absurd. Now it's hard to remember what life was like before the non-stop media spectacle. The choice between "R" and "D" has never felt more superficial, yet the stakes have never been higher. The next president will nominate at least one, and probably several Supreme Court justices, leaving a legacy far beyond whatever harm he or she might "accomplish" through their agenda. Trump has promised a nominee in the mold of Antonin Scalia, but can anyone take his words at face value? It was only this Thursday that he acknowledged that he would accept the election results as valid... and only if he wins! Bob is joined by John Rothmann, a Bay Area radio veteran and expert on American politics, for a round-up discussion of all things Election 2016™. Together, they will try to make sense of the political circus – from the debates, to Supreme Court picks, to the odds of various scenarios unfolding on November 8. Back in simpler times, when Bob was first starting in radio, Rothmann served as an invaluable mentor to him. Rothmann sees Trump as a clear danger, who must be stopped. Bob makes the case that a vote for a third party candidate – *cough* Gary Johnson – is far from a wasted vote.
With just three months to the general election, voters must now come to grips with the grim reality of their choice between the major parties’ presidential candidates. Naturally, the conversations around the “lesser of two evils” have begun, along with the ensuing mental gymnastics by those looking to justify their preference for either Trump or Clinton. There may be a silver lining, however. While former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson may not be the political savior many are hoping for, he is getting a hearing from a large swath of the electorate who otherwise would never have considered backing a third party candidate – let alone a libertarian. Jeff Singer, a general surgeon and libertarian from Arizona, has voted for the lesser of two evils for most of his life – but now he's had enough, and is casting his lot in with Johnson. Is it true that a vote for Johnson is a throwaway, or that it makes a victory of the greater of two evils more likely? Bob and Jeff spend the hour on the intricate question of how one can still vote smart, and on principle, in the unusual times we find ourselves in.
Why Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils Is a Waste of Your Vote, by Jeffrey A. Singer, Reason.com May 18, 2016
Almost two years ago, approaching the 2014 mid-term elections, Bob interviewed Edward Hudgins of the Atlas Society on his book *The Republican Party’s Civil War.* The book's premise was that warring factions within the GOP could present an opportunity for the libertarian wing of the party to emerge at center stage. Hudgins made his optimistic case at a Cato Institute panel, with the opposing perspective presented by Henry Olsen, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, who predicted that no such "libertarian moment" was in progress. Now, Olsen joins the show to expand on this argument, having examined hard data from past primary elections to compile his new book *The Four Faces of the Republican Party.* Olsen's thesis illustrates the messy nature of our democracy, and how the balance of power among factions determines election outcomes, rather than pure principles like limited government. While the upcoming presidential election may not bode well for liberty in the short term, it can instruct us on what a winning coalition might look like in the future.
Libertarians don’t quite seem cut out for politics. A Republican or Democrat has occupied the White House since 1852, and the two party system shows no signs of weakening in 2016 or beyond. This election cycle, however, there is a Republican candidate with liberal social leanings, apart from his conservative views on taxes and regulation. In other words, Rand Paul is a libertarian. Robin Koerner thinks Paul will get more votes if he opts for a different label: Blue Republican. Koerner, a Cambridge polymath and UK native, made his name as an observer of American politics (he lives in the US and is becoming an American citizen), but then found a calling in rebranding the GOP with certain humane values more often expressed by the left. Koerner advocates simplifying the Republican platform to a few issues: restoring civil liberties, ending foreign wars, and slashing corporate welfare. He and Bob discuss the Blue Republican platform, and Koerner’s new project *Ready for Rand,* a PAC dedicated to winning converts to the cause of liberty, rather than arguments about libertarian principles.
When was the last time you heard of a “pioneering” new movement in the literal sense of settling unclaimed lands with hope of a better future? For generations, virtually all land has been claimed and controlled by existing governments, making such efforts difficult. Excepting parts of Antarctica, international waters, and a few other so-called “no-man’s-lands” speckling the globe, there is nowhere left for modern-day pioneers to endeavor. One unfortunate consequence of the “closing of the frontier” has been an end to new political experiments – the landscape of existing countries represents an oligopoly, with little competition from small “startup” countries. Vít Jedlička, however, took a magnifying glass to the atlas, and found a small (7 km sq.) unclaimed region between Serbia and Croatia. This historical accident of boundary drawing created a unique opportunity for Jedlicka, a Czech politician and libertarian activist, to build his dreamt-of Free Republic of Liberland. In April, Vit and his team officially launched the new country (timed to coincide with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday), and since then, Liberland has been steadily accumulating interest, diplomatic recognition, as well as tens of thousands of applications for citizenship. Find out what comes next in Vit’s vision and strategy to turn the tiny, thick-wooded gem on the Danube into the first thriving micro-nation of the 21st century.
"Welcome to Liberland: the World's Newest Country (Maybe)" NY Times Magazine, 8/11/15
Apply for Citizenship to Liberland
This Fourth of July, as we reflect on our country's origins, some may be tempted to look upon the Founding Fathers with a reverence otherwise reserved for saints or the founders of great religions. Past generations erected the “Washington” Monument in “Washington” D.C. to honor and symbolize the resoluteness of the man as both a leading general in the Revolutionary War and our nation's first President. Likewise, the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence – the rallying cry of the American Revolution – are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in honor of the man who penned them. However, these mythologies are incomplete according to Thomas Fleming, a historian and novelist who has picked apart the American Revolution from more than a few angles. His latest book, *The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation*, cuts through the typical "airbrushing" of historical founding figures to reveal the political treachery that truly characterized the era. Fleming joins Bob for a special Fourth (Fifth) of July episode.
Bob Zadek reviews current events from a purely Libertarian perspective. Small, unobtrusive government. Limited federal powers, with far more power vested in. Each week Bob interviews a top intellectual on a libertarian issue.
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